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2018 Speakers

Nellie Akalp, Serial Entrepreneur and CEO of CorpNet, Incorporated

Nellie Akalp is an entrepreneur, small business advocate, and mother of four little rockstars. As founder and CEO of CorpNet.com, she has helped more than half a million entrepreneurs start their businesses. Through CorpNet.com, Nellie has also partnered with business professionals such as attorneys, CPAs and more as their silent fulfillment partner helping them incorporate and form LLCs for their clients.

Nellie is internationally recognized as one of the most prominent experts on small business legal matters, contributing to media outlets like Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post. Each month, her regular columns and small business advice reach more than eight million people.

Together with her husband Phil, Nellie has been building companies for more than 18 years. They sold their first company to Intuit in 2008 for $20 million, then decided to get right back into the game. Having weathered ups and downs of entrepreneurship over the past two decades, Nellie is an undisputed expert on what it takes to start a successful business and follow your dreams.

Nellie has been named a Top 100 Small Business Influencer by Small Business Trends for the past four years and counting. In 2016 she was named Women Business Owner of the Year by NAWBO VC and her company, CorpNet.com, has been recognized on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing privately-held companies in America in 2015 and 2016.

Renee Daggett

Renee is the Founder and CEO of AdminBooks and she received her bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University in 1989. She is an Enrolled Agent tax preparer, enrolled to represent tax payers before the IRS. With this license, she uniquely brings peace to her clients by helping them with all the aspects of running a business.

Renee is also an Advanced QuickBooks Online Consultant with Intuit, named top 200 Proadvisor in 2017 (top 1% in her field) and is a member of the Intuit Trainer/Writer Network. Her team and firm earned Intuit’s prestigious worldwide award, “Top 15 Firm of the Future”. AdminBooks has transitioned 99% of their bookkeeping clients to QuickBooks Online and converted their tax clients to a paperless cloud system.

Renee is also the author of “Your Financial Flight Plan: Pilot Your Business to Profitability.” In her book, she compares flying an airplane to running a business. In a creative way, she explains the reasons why every business owner needs to be a better manager of his or her business by providing fun examples for business owners to course correct and improve their business.

Born and raised in California and happily married since 1990, Renee is the mother of two sons. She lives her life with purpose and thrives on helping her clients do so as well.

Sue Engle, Education Director, Allstate

Sue has over 30 years of experience as an insurance professional in both property & casualty insurance and group benefits. She spent 27 years with The Hartford, with over a decade of that in commercial underwriting.
She then moved into operations and education where she manage commercial lines, personal lines, claims and group benefits education teams. Sue joined Allstate in June of 2014 leading education for the Allstate Business Insurance division. Sue and her team provide commercial education and training for Allstate agencies, Allstate Business Insurance underwriting and contact center staff plus commercial claims adjusters. Sue has a master’s degree in Education with a specialization in Training and Performance Improvement.

Cathy Iconis

Cathy has over 13 years of accounting experience and is a CPA. She has held positions as an auditor, forensic accountant, and financial analyst. She started Iconis Group with the goal of bringing big business finance skills to small business owners.

Cathy is the 7-time recipient of the prestigious 40 Under 40 Award, given annually by CPA Practice Advisor. She was also named one of 8 Managing Partner Elite by Accounting Today in 2015.

In her free time, Cathy enjoys spending time with her husband and two young daughters.

Joshua Lance

Joshua Lance is the founder and Managing Director of Lance CPA Group, a virtual CPA firm that focuses on providing accounting and consulting services to craft breweries and startups. A licensed Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Global Management Accountant, Josh is also a family man who calls Chicago home. Before venturing on his own with a mission to help small businesses, Josh spent his early career at a top-10 national public accounting firm before working at an ultra high net worth family office. Josh is also an adjunct professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL teaching in the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and McCormick School of Engineering. He enjoys making wine at home, cooking, traveling, and cheering on his favorite football and soccer teams. Josh was honored by being selected to the 2017 class of the AICPA Leadership Academy and was named as one of the 40 under 40 in 2017 by CPA Practice Advisor.

Sandi Leyva, CPA, CMA, MBA, Founder of Accountant’s Accelerator & Accelerate Small Biz

Sandi has helped thousands of  accountants earn more, work less, and serve their clients better through her innovative coaching and training services.  She was named one of the 2014 Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting by CPA Practice Advisor, one of the Top 25 Thought Leaders for 2014-2015 by CPA Practice Advisor, one of the 2013 “Ones to Watch” of Accounting Today’s “Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting” and won a 2013 Stevie Award for “Maverick of the Year.”

 

Michelle L. Long, CPA, MBA, Founder of Long for Success, LLC

Michelle is an international trainer for Intuit and specializes in QuickBooks services and helping small business owners (including accounting professionals) start and grow their business.  Michelle was named one of 10 Women who Inspire a Profession by Accounting Today, one of CPA Practice Adviser’s Most Powerful Women in Accounting, a Small Business In­fluencer Awards – Top 100 Champion by Small Business Trends, and a Financial Services Champion of the Year by the Small Business Administration in recognition of her dedication to helping entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Mike Milan, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Finagraph

Mike Milan is Senior Vice President of Business Development at Finagraph. Prior to joining Finagraph, Mike was President of J&M Investments which owned and operated various companies in the hospitality staffing, food and beverage, real estate management, and consulting industries. Mike Milan is Senior Vice President of Business Development at Finagraph. Prior to joining Finagraph, Mike was President of J&M Investments which owned and operated various companies in the hospitality staffing, food and beverage, real estate management, and consulting industries.

With more than 20 years of entrepreneurial experience in his own business ventures and an array of others, Mike has developed a formula for crafting ideas into million dollar companies. He has been a critical asset in countless start-up ventures including Pioneer Labor Services, Blazing Star Staffing, Recover, Handlebar and BSR Ventures. With more than 20 years of entrepreneurial experience in his own business ventures and an array of others, Mike has developed a formula for crafting ideas into million dollar companies. He has been a critical asset in countless start-up ventures including Pioneer Labor Services, Blazing Star Staffing, Recover, Handlebar and BSR Ventures.

After successfully selling his largest ground-up operation, Mike has consulted for large non-profits, small businesses, mid-size manufacturing companies, and hospitality-based businesses. His personal experience and involvement in the community combined with the technical knowledge of an MBA from Baylor University make for a powerful partnership with any business owner. After successfully selling his largest ground-up operation, Mike has consulted for large non-profits, small businesses, mid-size manufacturing companies, and hospitality-based businesses. His personal experience and involvement in the community combined with the technical knowledge of an MBA from Baylor University make for a powerful partnership with any business owner.

Cindy Noelk

Cindy Noelk is founder and owner of Cindy’s Mobile Bookkeeping, which specializes in helping plumbing, HVAC, and electrical contractor businesses in all 50 states in the U.S. She offers QuickBooks bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, consulting, setup, training, and troubleshooting services. Cindy’s passion is helping small businesses become more profitable so their owners can spend more time with their family and friends doing the things they love to do.

Cindy currently has clients in eight states, from California to Florida to New York and is one of the top ten Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors in western New York. Some of the projects she has worked on with clients include creating a new pricing plan for an HVAC company so they could be profitable and cleaning up and setting up seven new plumbing, HVAC, and electrical companies on the right QuickBooks software.

Cindy is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor (Desktop) and a Certified QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor. She is experienced with niche software, including ServiceTitan and KickServe and has deep experience in the plumbing, HVAC, and electrical industry. Prior to starting her own bookkeeping business, Cindy worked as a corporate controller for 28 years in the automotive industry opening and overseeing high-volume General Motors store in Buffalo, NY.

Cindy earned a degree in accounting from State University of New York at Buffalo. When she is not working, she loves gardening, cooking, walking, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

Bradley Wallace

If you’re reading this, there’s a solid chance that, at this very moment, there are at least 2 concert, stand-up/improv comedy or movie e-tickets on my phone, for an upcoming event. HUGE fan of live entertainment. I’m a non-dog-owner (for now), but a huge dog-lover. Open to suggestions on which pup is best! (Extra points for anyone who caught that The Office reference).

I grew up in a house that was fueled by sales. My dad has worked at the same insurance company for over 30 years and his ascension through the ranks brought a lot of exciting change and opportunity to our family. Having seen the level of freedom my family was able to benefit from, it made perfect sense for me to look along a similar path.

When I’m not watching/laughing/singing along at some venue, among a massive crowd or online researching dog breeds, you can find me working with the Accounting and Legal industries, educating professionals on some of the top solutions for file sharing & collaboration.

I currently live and work in the heart of Raleigh, North Carolina, working at Citrix ShareFile. ShareFile has been a leader in innovation in so many ways. In 2015, when Citrix built its brand new office downtown, it was the only building in Raleigh’s Warehouse District. Our office has since, paved the way to an extreme district makeover of this area. The Warehouse District is now busting out the seams with new businesses, restaurants, housing and shopping. Come check us out!

ShareFile has also shaken up the file-sharing game. Traditionally, file sharing for businesses meant either an insecure but user-friendly tool that IT didn’t approve of, or a secure but clunky tool that end users avoided like the plague. ShareFile has redefined what it means to be an enterprise-level file sharing service; providing the admin control and security that IT demands, while giving the end users an easy-to-use platform that reflects positively towards their clients.